The Lagos State government has reassured Nigerians that all marriages conducted and registered in any of the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state remains valid, and in accordance with the Marriage Act.
The Commissioner for Local Government & Community Affairs, Muslim Folami, who disclosed this yesterday at a briefing on the judgment obtained by the councils at the Federal High Court, Lagos, over Ikoyi Marriage Registry, said the ruling would undoubtedly put a stop to the seeming perception of superiority of Ikoyi registry over the local council registries.
It would be recalled that some local councils across the country filed a suit challenging the power of the Ministry of Interior to operate marriage registries.
They prayed the court to declare that the conduct and registration of marriages is the exclusive right of local councils. They are also praying the court to restrain the Minister of Interior either by themselves or their agencies from further establishing any federal marriage registry in any part of local councils in Nigeria.
While describing the ruling as a landmark achievement, meant to change initial perception of Nigerians, he stated that since the local councils are the closest to the grassroots, they should be the first port of call for contracting and verification of marriages.
Folami said the ministry is making efforts to communicate this development to all embassies in the state. He said: “We are going to use the five divisions across the state to sensitise our people and inform them about this latest development – from Epe to Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja and Lagos Island – through a sensitisation walk.”
He called on members of the public to uphold this judgment by patronising the legal and approved Marriage Registries for marriages, as it is within the exclusive authority of the Registrar within the Marriage District (Local Government) in accordance with the provisions of Section 30 (1) of the Marriage Act and Section 7 (5) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.